We are in the midst of launching another season of small groups at my church, The Bridge. I am a very serious proponent of small groups in the life of a believer, so I want to give 5 off-the-cuff reasons you should join a small group in your local church.
- Jesus did it. When Jesus wanted to make an eternal impact in the world, he started a small group with 12 men. He did not gather these men together to teach them from a lectern. He did not establish a once per week check-in where he shook hands with people while eating doughnuts and drinking coffee (though, were they available, I think he would have enjoyed both). Jesus wanted to change the world with only three years to do it, so he started a small group. Generally, what Jesus did, we should do. Join a small group.
- Your friends are doing it. I say this with full confidence, because I am talking about your new friends you have not met who are in that small group you are thinking about joining. Your friends are already there. Together. Having a great time. Watching football together. Throwing Christmas parties. Your friends are there, and they are waiting for you to join them.
- Life is best lived with others. Have you ever been on a trip to a really cool place all by yourself? I have been, and it was nowhere near as fun until I shared that awesome experience with other people. Life with others makes good experiences better. Have you ever been worried, stressed or fearful about something, and then felt a release when you finally voiced those feelings? It is because life with others makes bad experiences better. What you will find when you live life with other people is a steady deepening and broadening of your life experiences. Life with other people stretches you to something bigger than you could ever be alone.
- God uses others to change you. God loves to work through people. We see this in scripture all of the time. Paul talks about the message of the gospel going out into the nations when he asks, “How will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” God could use any means to bring about salvation, but usually He uses people. In Acts there was a guy reading the Scriptures which foretold of the Messiah. Jesus could have appeared to that man, just as he appeared to Paul. Instead, God miraculously carries Philip to this man, and God works through Philip to change this man. The way God worked then is how He works now. I was in a small group with three other guys in college. That group challenged me in my faith, and pushed me to follow God with an ever increasing dependency upon Him. That group changed me like no hundred books could have. God brings the greatest transformation in our lives through other people He has placed there for His purpose and our good.
- There is safety in numbers. Have you ever seen how lions hunt and take down prey? It is really simple – they circle a herd of animals and look for the one animal all by himself. That animal standing by himself is the one that becomes dinner. Even if you live with and near the local herd of Christians (sometimes called a church) you can still be caught standing by yourself. We have an enemy roaming like a hungry lion, and he is looking for someone to devour. Being near the herd is not the same as being part of a group. Groups provide spiritual protection through prayer. Groups provide physical protection through ministry. Groups provide emotional protection through support systems. You cannot fight the enemy on your own, and you don’t have to either. Join a small group.
If you are in the Northern Kentucky area, you can join a small group at my church through our website.